West Basin Water News | Spring 2020 (COVID-19 Edition)

West Basin Drinking Water is Safe and Reliable 

Drinking Water and COVID-19

West Basin Municipal Water District (West Basin) is assuring the communities in its service area that COVID-19 has no impact on the quality or supply of the District’s drinking water supplies.

On March 16, West Basin Board President Gloria D. Gray issued the following statement:

“We understand and share your concerns regarding the health impacts of COVID-19, but we want to assure our communities that the drinking water delivered by West Basin is safe and reliable.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 is transmitted person to person, not through water. Furthermore, the CDC states, “COVID-19 has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Drinking Water Undergoes Rigorous Testing, Advanced Treatment Processes

West Basin purchases imported drinking water from the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (Metropolitan). West Basin then delivers those drinking water supplies throughout its service area. The strict water treatment process Metropolitan utilizes ensures the safety of the region’s drinking water supplies.

Metropolitan’s multi-step treatment process includes filtration and disinfection using ozone and chlorine. This advanced process removes and kills viruses, including coronaviruses, as well as bacteria and other pathogens. Ongoing monitoring demonstrates that Metropolitan’s treated water meets or surpasses all federal and state drinking water standards and regulations, which require removal of over 99.99% of viruses.

As always, the drinking water that West Basin delivers to its service area meets or exceeds all established state and federal drinking water standards. You can rest assured that the water delivered to your home continues to be safe to use.

How to Get More Information About Your Drinking Water

In California, public water agencies are required to produce annual water quality reports and make them available to the public either online or by request. For specific information about the quality of your drinking water, please contact or visit the website of your retail water supplier (e.g. City of Inglewood, Golden State Water Company, etc.).

If you need help identifying your water supplier, please enter your home address at either of the following websites:

Direct links to West Basin retail water suppliers are provided below:

City of El Segundo City of Inglewood
City of Lomita City of Los Angeles
City of Manhattan Beach Los Angeles County Waterworks District #29
California American Water California Water Service
Golden State Water

Protecting Public and Employee Health is Priority #1

In these unprecedented times, West Basin is taking extraordinary measures to help protect against the spread of COVID-19. The health and safety of our employees, Board of Directors, customers and the public we serve is a top priority, as is our commitment to providing safe and reliable water.

West Basin is taking the following steps in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. A more detailed list of the District’s COVID-19 Response Plan is available on the West Basin COVID-19 webpage.

  1. Continuing to provide a safe and reliable supply of drinking water.
  2. Producing a reliable supply of recycled water for West Basin’s recycled water customers.
  3. Coordinating with our contract operators to ensure normal operations at all recycled water facilities.
  4. Implementing contingency plans to ensure employee safety and continued compliance with federal, state and local regulations.
  5. Postponing public events. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, all public tours, school education classes and community outreach events are postponed until further notice.
  6. Making Board and committee meetings publicly accessible via teleconference. Board agendas contain call-in information and are posted at www.westbasin.org/board-agendas.
  7. Suspending non-essential travel.
  8. Implementing a remote working policy for staff. The District headquarters in Carson will remain open on a very limited basis for staff until further notice. Social distancing practices are currently being maintained at District facilities and at construction sites.
  9. When all employees are teleworking, District security will be present to receive any mail or deliveries and inform the public of current operations during business hours.
  10. Maintaining a healthful work environment. The District is routinely conducting environmental cleaning of District offices and facilities and will perform deep cleaning of working areas during the shutdown.
  11. Ensuring business continuity. West Basin administrative and finance staff are carrying out workplans that allow for the safe continuation of business operations.
  12. Communicating internally and externally. West Basin is providing updates on this rapidly changing situation on the District’s website, social media channels, and via email and phone calls as needed.
  13. Monitoring and adjusting operations as needed. West Basin is closely monitoring the rapidly changing COVID-19 crisis, following established public health agency guidelines and recommendations, and adjusting District programming and operations as needed.

West Basin Board Encourages Taking Care of One Another in Earth Day Message

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, the West Basin Board of Directors is asking the nearly one million people in its service area to take care of each other during these difficult times. The Board is also reaffirming that the region’s water supply remains safe and reliable. The District’s Board members have a simple, but important Earth Day message for each of the communities served by the District.

While you take care of each other, West Basin remains fully committed to providing access to a safe and reliable water supply.

As we celebrate Earth Day this year, and in light of these unprecedented times, let’s all remember to take extra care in looking after and supporting each other. In the meantime, West Basin will continue to ensure that the drinking water delivered to your home or business is safe and readily available.

To see a full-size version of the Board’s Earth Day message, please click on the image above.

West Basin Recycled Water Supports Economy During Crisis

In addition to ensuring a safe and reliable drinking water supply for the region, West Basin continues to produce and deliver high-quality recycled water for more than 450 recycled water customers throughout its service area. Recycled water facilities are currently operating normally with no interruptions anticipated under current conditions.

Maintaining a reliable supply of recycled water is vital for the District’s commercial and industrial customers, whose businesses are needed to help sustain healthy local, state, and national economies during the coronavirus outbreak. Several of the District’s recycled water customers include refineries, whose products help ensure that transportation, goods delivery, and other related industries continue to operate normally at a time when they are most needed.

West Basin recycled water is also important for replenishing local groundwater basins and protecting against seawater intrusion that would otherwise threaten local water supplies, further putting the local economy at risk.

Finally, recycled water helps maintain beautiful green spaces at public parks, schools, industrial parks, and other community locations, all without needing to use a single drop of drinking water.

To ensure a reliable supply of recycled water during this time of uncertainty, West Basin has implemented an internal business continuity plan for the District’s water treatment facility and satellites.

The plan is designed to protect public and employee health, meet the ongoing needs of the District’s recycled water customers, and maintain compliance with all federal, state and local regulations. The plan provides flexibility for different levels of staffing depending on escalating scenarios.  Staff have also been provided with necessary resources and directed to perform daily disinfection of working areas multiple times a day. Social distancing and web conference procedures are being utilized to further limit exposure risks.

With the business continuity plan in place, West Basin will continue to ensure reliable recycled water supplies for the many different industries and businesses that are served throughout the region.

West Basin Discovering New Ways of Doing Business

West Basin employees are currently working from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but the District remains steadfast in its commitment to provide outstanding service to the communities it serves. In fact, West Basin’s core services essentially remain intact, with the District continuing to provide an uninterrupted supply of water (drinking and recycled) and making progress on many of the District’s scheduled capital project and maintenance construction activities.

In addition to providing core services, the District is actively exploring and implementing new ways of doing business that improve internal operational efficiencies, enhance customer service, boost technological capabilities, and save money.

The West Basin Finance and Contracts department is implementing several business process improvement strategies aimed at adapting to the evolving business climate.  The department is reducing the amount of paper that is generated and sent through mail by encouraging customers and vendors to transition to an electronic-based processing system.  This change will benefit West Basin and its customers by streamlining document sharing and processing.

As part of this process, the department has already put the following items in motion:

  1. Customer outreach to encourage electronic payments known as Automated Clearing House (ACH), which eliminates the need for manual deposits
  2. Obtain bank statements electronically or signing up for web access
  3. Requesting vendor invoices to be sent to general department email rather than being mailed
  4. Electronic approval of invoices and requisitions
  5. Electronic signing of contracts and purchase orders

The department is also planning to transition to a system that would offer customers several different ways to generate payments instead of paper checks, including ACH payments, credit card payments, and online transactions. In addition, the department is planning to accept electronic receipts of bids and proposals for goods and services via an e-procurement system and to move to a more integrated e-procurement system.

Another example of business process improvement comes from the District’s public information and education team, which is planning to utilize digital and online learning technologies to provide water education programs to students and residents in the West Basin service area during the public shutdown. The District will rely on a combination of virtual tours, online classrooms, webinars, and other interactive tools to inform and communicate with program participants on a variety of water-related topics.


District Developing Alternative Format Education and Outreach Programs

While West Basin has canceled or postponed all scheduled public tours, school education classes, and community outreach events until further notice, the District is exploring opportunities to offer online and virtual classes in place of in-person gatherings. As these alternative format events and classes move forward, opportunities to participate will be posted to the District’s website and social media platforms.

West Basin is also evaluating the remainder of its previously scheduled 2020 events in order to determine the possibility of re-scheduling some or all of the tours and classes for later in the year. Any re-scheduled events will be communicated to registered participants, posted to the West Basin website and shared with West Basin’s partner cities and retail water suppliers.

In the meantime, West Basin is busy reviewing the many wonderful submissions it received for the District’s 2020 “Water is Life” Student Art Contest. Contest winners will be announced later this year.

Conservation Rebates Continue to be Available to Residents and Businesses

West Basin continues to offer significant rebates for grass removal and water-saving devices that are aimed at helping your family or business save water and reduce future water bills.

The following is a highlight of rebates that are available to residents and businesses in the West Basin service area. A full list of residential and commercial rebates can be viewed at www.socalwatersmart.com.

Grass Removal

Spring is the perfect time to get rid of your grass lawn and replace it with a beautiful, drought-tolerant landscape. West Basin offers $3 (or more) per square foot of grass removed.

High-Efficiency Clothes Washers

High-Efficiency Clothes Washers (HECW) use 55% less water than traditional clothes washers. HECWs also use less energy, meaning you will save money on your energy bill, as well as your water bill. Rebates for HECWs start at $85 and go up to $500 (depends on eligibility criteria).

High-Efficiency Toilets

High-efficiency toilets use 20% less water than standard models, while offering the same amount of flush effectiveness. West Basin offers $40 rebates for qualifying toilets.

For any questions related to conservation rebates, please contact Gus Meza, Sr. Water Policy & Resources Analyst, at gusm@westbasin.org or (213) 500-6658.

Cash for Kitchens

Numerous rebates are available for commercial restaurants and public agency food facilities, including up to $3,000 for air-cooled ice machines and up to $6,000 for connectionless food steamers. More information is available at www.westbasin.org/c4k.

Additional Resources for COVID-19 and Water Quality

For specific information regarding COVID-19 and drinking water supplies, use the following links:

For general information on COVID-19, use the following links:

Local Resources

State Resources

National/International Resources

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